In this passage, Paul is having to defend his ministry due to a number of Corinthians saying he was bold in his letters but had no authority in person. He even admits that he is timid in person. Just because that might be true does not mean that the meaning of what he is saying or writing is any different. Moses and Jeremiah were also not that great of speakers but God gave them authority anyways. Paul goes on to criticize the false teachers and how they were comparing themselves to others and how this was not wise. They were trying to live up to their standards which caused pride.
This matters because Paul was given the authority to do the things that he was doing by God. Even though he was saying and doing what God wanted him to do, there were still Corinthians who doubted him and even talked badly of him because of the way he presented himself in person compared to how his letters were written. They compared him to worldly standards instead of Godly standards and were blinding themselves to the truth and building of pride which is dangerous.
The biggest takeaway, for me, in this passage is that we should never set our standards to those of this world and instead set them to Gods. By doing that we take the first step in avoiding pride. It is hard to do that in our society today though. The easy access of social media and the internet makes it easy for us to see others and make comparisons and standards to them instead of God. When we do something well or go somewhere we want to tell people about it but this can be dangerous because we can become consumed by trying to get peoples approval instead of Gods. We have to humble ourselves before God and others.
God I ask that we may be able to be less prideful in our actions and accomplishments. That when we do do wonderful and awesome things that we are doing them for your glory instead of our own. May we not compare ourselves to others but instead compare ourselves to the standards you have set. Amen.
Author | Sam Carroll